I’ve noticed a big increase in the use of artificial intelligence virtual assistants of late. These include the likes of Siri, Cortana and Alexa to name a few. I’ve also noticed that when people search for the term ‘virtual assistant’ some of the top searches are regarding these very AI VAs.
So this begs the question, is an artificial VA better than a human VA..?
I guess this would depend on what you value most in your VA… whilst AI is becoming increasingly popular and can be seen as more cost effective, plus they’re available 24/7 – there are some things they just simply can’t compare on.
How many times have you called a company where you are faced with an automated message option system and you get annoyed because the option you want isn’t available or it doesn’t understand you saying ‘yes’ no matter how much you shout it as clearly as you can into the phone and the call is then ended either by the company because it doesn’t think you’re responding or by you because you’re fed up of telling it what you want and it doesn’t understand?
Sometimes you can’t beat just talking to someone to understand their issues and helping them to resolve them. It gives me as a person a boost and you/I also end up (hopefully) with a happy customer.
AI is best for:-
- Completing repetitive, mundane tasks allowing employees to do more creative, insightful work.
- They don’t need holidays or breaks and they’re never off ill.
- AI is great for calling out tasks to such as ‘hey Siri, remind me to….’ or ‘hey Siri, set a timer for 30 minutes’ and they do just as they’re asked, no questions.
- Cost effective
- They’re available 24/7 and in a split second
Human is best for:-
- They can respond to queries of any type, AI can only deal with queries they’re programmed to respond to.
- They will be able to analyse data based on trends and markets and better understand the customer mindset.
- They will be best placed to interact with your customers and provide the best individual customer service possible.
- They will challenge you on something they don’t understand or agree on; ensuring all concerned fully understand what is required.
- They will be able to sit down with you and fully understand your business requirements and therefore help to provide the best solution for you personally.
- They don’t need electricity to charge them up.
- They can talk to people, which helps to raise issues that you didn’t realise were a problem and therefore build a better business/customer relationship.
- They can act as a sounding board and give constructive criticism.
There are many obvious gains for having AI VAs in your business, but there are still many stronger ones for having a humanised touch to the role.
In a very digital, tech-driven world it’s very easy to forget that people need human interaction. They need empathy and they need people to listen to them and understand exactly what it is they need from you or your business.
Having been one of those people trying to get through to the right department or just wanting someone to speak to on your account, I personally would still rather have that human interaction.
By all means have AI in the business but keep them for the tasks that don’t require a listening, understanding ear.
As a business I like to stick to my tagline ‘we put the face back into interface’.
I’d love to hear your thoughts….